May 3, 1993 |
The helicopter intercom pops with nervous voices: "93% . . . 96% . . . 103% . . . I can't see a thing. . . . Me either. . . . Don't like this one bit! . . . Nope! . . . Kerthunk. Kerthunk." Translation: The twin-rotor Army Chinook CH-47, flying over the Kahiltna Glacier on North America's mightiest mountain, is attempting to land search-and-rescue supplies. But as it makes its approach, its twin turbine engines are torqued beyond their safe capacity at this high altitude.
August 31, 1992 |
Bezal Jesudason keeps his table set for 15, here on remote Cornwallis Island high in the Canadian Arctic archipelago. He never knows who may be dropping in for dinner. There were the New Agers from Winnipeg, on their way by sledge to the magnetic North Pole, where they hoped to beget a super-baby. There was the Japanese film crew making a movie called "Antarctica"; because they were at the wrong end of the globe, they had to use stuffed penguins as props.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 1998 |
Flying high in a helicopter over a shimmering Arabian desert, Nicholas Clapp began to wonder whether he wasn't truly crazy after all. Sprawling beneath him was the Rub' al Khali, or Empty Quarter--an endless expanse of forbidding isolation known for its majestic dunes that rise up 60 stories from the desert floor like great ocher-colored waves of rolling sand.
June 12, 2001 |
Life is risky. When I first met Brad and Barbara Washburn 13 years ago, I didn't realize Brad had known Amelia Earhart, the legendary pilot who disappeared in the Pacific while attempting an around-the-world flight in July 1937. Not only had he known Earhart and her husband, publisher G.P. Putnam, but Brad--a respected cartographer and mountaineer--had spent a weekend at their home advising her on plans for the adventure that was her dream, and her death.
May 9, 1996 |
Richard E. Byrd, the famed American polar explorer who claimed in 1926--70 years ago today--to have been the first person to fly over the North Pole, may actually have turned back two hours and 150 miles short of his goal, according to new evidence released by Ohio State University's Byrd Polar Research Institute. The clues are in Byrd's long lost diary of the expedition, which an archivist at the center recently found in a mislabeled box of Byrd's memorabilia.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 6, 1994 |
Tiptoeing 35 feet above the ground on a jiggly high wire, Kristin Taday grabbed a rope dangling above her head to steady herself. Still, she leaned precipitously toward the ground. "Holy Mary, Mother, I love you!" the Thousand Oaks 17-year-old shouted.
March 4, 1988 |
When Pam Flowers leaves Canada's Ward Hunt Island with her small team of dogs Monday, she'll be trying to make history as well as a statement about the role of women in polar expeditions. The 41-year-old respiratory therapist from Willow, Alaska, a small town roughly 70 miles north of Anchorage, hopes to arrive at the North Pole in about 55 days, becoming the first women to get there alone by means of surface travel.
April 2, 1989 |
In April of 1909, in raw and cruel climes of 30 below zero, Cmdr. Robert Edwin Peary, hooded and covered in bearskin, penciled some fabled words onto a page in the small, brown notebook that served as his Arctic diary. "The Pole at last!!!" Peary wrote in his slanted, careful, clear hand. "The prize of 3 centuries, my dream and ambition for 23 years. Mine at last. I cannot bring myself to realize it. It all seems so simple & commonplace. . . .
June 13, 1990 |
Well, that did it, Jim Whittaker figured, he ruined Everest for everybody. Turned the world's highest mountain into a molehill, he did, putting so many people from his International Peace Climb expedition on top that the next ones will come looking for the escalator. "It's almost embarrassing," were Whittaker's first words radioed from Base Camp. "People will think it was easy." No previous expedition had ever put 20 climbers on top. A Norwegian team had 17 reach the summit in 1985.
February 5, 1992 |
Nicholas Clapp likes to say he stumbled onto the road to Ubar by way of a quirky bookstore in Westwood. It was 1982 and Clapp, an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker, was looking for a particular book about the Arabian desert for a possible movie project. The tiny Egyptology bookstore, which has since closed, didn't have what he sought, but the woman behind the counter said she had something better.